Fri. Oct. 22, 2021

The Rolling Stones – Gimme Shelter

This Beat Is Mine! (*) The Rolling Stones – Gimme Shelter (Decca)

Your obvious eclectism is the reason why I’m suggesting this particular song. Simply because emotion has no age nor boundaries. For me, living in a city renowned for its creativity, music linked to the notion of counterculture has always been essential if not salutary. As the sign of a possible alternative in a world where everything is done to have us think-alike.

In the meantime, and although it saw the light back in 1969 during the Vietnam war, ‘Gimme Shelter”s message (from the ‘Let It Bleed’ album, featuring US singer Merry Clayton on vocals) remains so up to date. Thus bringing us back to the fact that there’s nothing like music with sense at the end. Be it social, political or whatever. Don’t you think?

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This Beat Is MineThis Beat Is Mine! (*)
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With warm thanks to Berlin-based correspondent, Dieter Maning, for this week’s suggestion…

Gladly welcoming yours to be published next Wednesday. On your marks!

– I guess as far as I can think of contemporary music, The Rolling Stones and their lead singer (Mick Jagger) have always been around. Pavin’ their way and, by that, punctuating history with significant lyrics. Meanwhile makin’ proof of their versatility if not avant-gardism. Such as on the psyche/ambient ‘2000 Light Years Away From Home’ back in 1967. But also ‘Gimme Shelter’ as a protest song against the Vietnam War, featuring Merry Clayton. Then how not to think of the vibrant ‘Sister Morphine’ from the memorable ‘Sticky Fingers’ album? Or their flirt with Disco vibes on the extended version of ‘Miss You’ back in 1978?!? Then how to not remember of their cover version of Rufus Thomas‘Walking The Dog’ as a part of their eponymous debut-album back in 1964?!?

Meanwhile, and unsurprisingly, Jagger would explore extra teritories whenever going solo. Sharing the duties with Michael Jackson and his brothers on ‘State Of Shock’. But also covering Bill Withers‘ classic ‘Use Me’ with Lenny Kravitz. When not partnering with Chic‘s Nile Rodgers responsible for the production of ‘1/2 A Loaf’ back in 1985. Or jamming along with Peter Tosh on a cover version of The Temptations‘ classic ‘Don’t Look Back’. As many reasons pretty much justifying their presence on these shores. Don’t you think?

– A native of New Orleans, LA, Merry Clayton began her recording career in 1962 at the age of 14. This while duetting with Bobby Darin on ‘Who Can I Count On? (When I Can’t Count on You)’ from his ‘You’re the Reason I’m Living’ album. This being the first in a series of countless collaborations with other artists. From Ray Charles to Burt Bacharach, Joe Cocker, and Carole King. This in addition to appearing on several tracks from Neil Young’s debut-album.

Merry Clayton is probably more remembered though for her duet with Mick Jagger on The Rolling Stones‘ 1969 ‘Gimme Shelter’. A classic she would cover the year after as a part of her debut-album of the likes. Then, five years later, she joined The Blackbyrds on the memorable ‘Rock Creek Park’ among others. As many collaborations which didn’t get her from regularly putting out music on her own. Thus releasing three solo albums on Ode Records between 1970 and 1975. Then delivering a one-off – ‘Emotion’ – on MCA five years later. With its title track comin’ up with arrangements courtesy of Webster Lewis. Then eventually getting an outstanding edit treatment by the likes of Reverend P in 2013 on G.A.M.M. records.

Merry Clayton released her last album to date – ‘Miracles’ – back in 1996 on CGI Records. Last but not least, a ‘Best Of’ saw the light more recently, in 2013, on Ode Records via Legacy…

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